Aaron Mendelson

Investigative Reporter

Contact Aaron Mendelson

I use data to power accountability journalism. That means digging through databases and public records to uncover stories about how your identity and zip code can affect the kind of justice you get in Southern California.

As a data reporter, my work spans different beats. I’ve covered the avalanche of outside money in local politics, spiking firearms sales, Los Angeles’ bicycle infrastructure, and police militarization. I helped build a unique database on police shootings in Los Angeles and San Bernardino counties for KPCC’s Officer Involved project.

I attended Macalester College and the UC Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism and got my start in journalism at KFAI Fresh Air Radio in Minneapolis.

Have a question you want me to answer? Ask me below.

Stories by Aaron Mendelson

'Basically... A Slumlord:' Los Angeles DA Candidates Respond to Our Landlord Investigation

Challengers in the L.A. County District Attorney race are calling for greater scrutiny into the business practices of the real estate and property management empire that was the subject of a KPCC/LAist investigation published last week.

Landlord Investigation Roils City Council Race, Re-Ignites Legislation In Sacramento

A Los Angeles city councilmember has returned campaign donations and a state legislator is promising to reintroduce a bill that would shed light on the rental market, following our investigation into a California rental empire.

Stuck: KPCC’s Investigation Into A Southern California Rental Empire

Virtually unknown to his tenants or the public, Mike Nijjar is one of the biggest landlords in the state. Companies he is connected to make up a vast rental empire centered in some of the poorest parts of Southern California.

Special Report: Deceit, Disrepair and Death Inside a Southern California Rental Empire

Bedbugs. Mold. Typhus. The list of problems at some of Southern California’s low-rent properties is extensive. Many of the tenants who endure these issues all have one thing in common: a management company, PAMA Management, and a landlord, Mike Nijjar, with a long track record of frequent evictions and health and safety violations.

Why it just got a lot harder to get a proposition on California's ballot

Hundreds of thousands of additional signatures are now required for a proposition to make the California ballot — making it harder and more expensive to place a measure directly before voters.

Here's why it now takes way more signatures to get a proposition on California's ballot

Backers of constitutional amendments will now need to collect 997,139 signatures to get on the ballot, up from 585,407. For other initiatives, the number of signatures needed jumps to 623,212 from 365,880.

Bike safety law rarely enforced in L.A., Long Beach

Four years ago, California's Three Feet for Safety Act took effect. But in Southern California, the police haven't found much use for it. Since it passed, LAPD officers have written just 13 citations for violating the three feet law.

LA County sexual misconduct cases top $36M in payouts

Sexual misconduct allegations against Los Angeles County employees sometimes took months and even years to resolve, a KPCC/LAist investigation found.

Sexual misconduct at the LA Sheriff's costs millions — outpacing other county departments

Allegations in dozens of recent sexual misconduct cases reviewed by KPCC/LAist connected to the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department are graphic, disturbing and sometimes bizarre.

134 cases, $36 million: Inside sexual misconduct at America's biggest county government

Extensive public records from the county and local courts reviewed by KPCC/LAist show a giant government enterprise at times falling short of its mission to protect employees from sexual harassment in the workplace.

OC Supes Will Fight New Needle Exchanges In County

At a heated emergency meeting Friday, Orange County Supervisors pledged to fight a needle exchange program intended by the state to stem the spread of HIV and Hepatitis C. With the new OC mobile exchange authorized to open as early Monday, the supervisors voted unanimously to begin legal action against the effort.

After deadly police shootout, Silver Lake Trader Joe's opens doors again

Things started to get back to normal at the grocery store on Hyperion Avenue, which opened its doors to the public Thursday morning for the first time since the shooting

Where do people get money for CA homes? Often, mom and dad

Federal data shows first-time buyers in California increasingly rely on family for help.

How unusual was the high number of votes in the Koreatown Neighborhood Council election?

The number of votes cast, some 19,000 with more still to be counted, took the city clerk's office by surprise.

LAPD releases first body cam video under new policy

The policy requires the release of footage in critical incidents within 45 days. The video released Wednesday is an edited version of a fatal incident in South L.A. It shows officers subduing a suspect who had been holding a metal pipe.